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PhraseBook for Writing Papers and Research in English 4th Edition Stephen Howe, BA, PhD Kristina Henriksson, MSc, PhD

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Over 5000 words and phrases to help you write at university and research level in English


First edition 2000 Second edition 2001 Third edition 2002 Fourth edition 2007 Published by EnglishforResearch.com The Whole World Company Press, Cambridge, CB7 5EQ, England © Stephen Howe and Kristina Henriksson 2000–2007 Printed by Biddles Limited, King’s Lynn, England The authors hereby assert their moral rights to be identified as the authors of the PhraseBook. You may not remove or alter the authors’ names, publisher’s name, copyright notice, disclaimers or, from the digital version, the End User Licence Agreement. All rights reserved worldwide Copyright is reserved in English and all other languages and countries of the world. PhraseBook for Writing, EnglishforResearch.com, EnglishforStudents.com and EnglishforSchool.com are worldwide trademarks and/or service marks of The Whole World Company Limited. Microsoft and Microsoft Word are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are hereby acknowledged. Do not make illegal, unauthorized copies of the PhraseBook. The PhraseBook and digital version are protected by copyright law and international treaties. The publisher and authors have striven to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the PhraseBook; however, they can accept no responsibility for any loss or inconvenience as a consequence of use, information or advice contained in the PhraseBook.

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Contents „

Contents

End User Licence Agreement......................................................................................... iii Contents............................................................................................................................ v About the PhraseBook.................................................................................................. viii How to use the PhraseBook ............................................................................................ x Using the PhraseBook in the classroom..................................................................... xiv Writing Help ...................................................................................................................... 1 1 Style................................................................................................................................ 2 1.1 Varieties of English............................................................................................................. 2 1.2 University and research writing .......................................................................................... 3 1.3 Avoiding colloquial language .............................................................................................. 5 1.4 Avoiding contracted forms .................................................................................................. 7 1.5 Avoiding clichĂŠs .................................................................................................................. 8 1.6 Avoiding tautology ............................................................................................................ 10 1.7 Referring to yourself ......................................................................................................... 11 1.8 Referring to the reader ..................................................................................................... 13 1.9 Referring generally ........................................................................................................... 14 1.10 he and she ...................................................................................................................... 15 1.11 Other types of bias ......................................................................................................... 18

2 Spelling ........................................................................................................................ 21 2.1 British and US spellings.................................................................................................... 21 2.2 z and s spellings ............................................................................................................... 32

3 Punctuation.................................................................................................................. 35 3.1 Full stop (GB) or period (US)............................................................................................ 35 3.2 Comma ............................................................................................................................. 36 3.3 Semicolon ......................................................................................................................... 38 3.4 Colon ................................................................................................................................ 38 3.5 Question mark .................................................................................................................. 39 3.6 Exclamation mark (GB) or point (US)............................................................................... 40 3.7 Hyphen ............................................................................................................................. 40 3.8 Hyphenation of prefixes.................................................................................................... 41 3.9 The hyphen in fixed compounds ...................................................................................... 44

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Contents

3.10 Using the hyphen in temporary compounds before a noun ........................................... 44 3.11 Dash ............................................................................................................................... 45 3.12 The possessive with ’s.................................................................................................... 47 3.13 Quotation marks ............................................................................................................. 50 3.14 Punctuation at the end of quotations.............................................................................. 51 3.15 Punctuating titles, legends and bullets ........................................................................... 53 3.16 Parenthesis and ellipsis.................................................................................................. 56 3.17 References ..................................................................................................................... 58 3.18 Abbreviations .................................................................................................................. 64 3.19 Capitalization .................................................................................................................. 70

4 Grammar ...................................................................................................................... 74 4.1 Noncount nouns................................................................................................................ 74 4.2 Singular words ending in -s .............................................................................................. 77 4.3 Irregular plurals................................................................................................................. 79 4.4 Confusing words: singular and plural ............................................................................... 86 4.5 Confusing words: pronouns.............................................................................................. 88 4.6 Irregular verbs................................................................................................................... 90

5 Vocabulary ................................................................................................................... 94 5.1 Differences in vocabulary in English varieties .................................................................. 94 5.2 Ambiguous words ............................................................................................................. 95 5.3 Confusing words ............................................................................................................... 96 5.4 Confusing prefixes ............................................................................................................ 98 5.5 Alternatives to get ........................................................................................................... 100

6 Numbers......................................................................................................................105 7 Time .............................................................................................................................116 8 Phrases .......................................................................................................................119 8.1 Preface and acknowledgements .................................................................................... 120 8.2 About the author or authors............................................................................................ 123 8.3 Introducing a study, chapter or section .......................................................................... 126 8.4 The aim of your study and outlining the topic................................................................. 128 8.5 Defining the scope of your study .................................................................................... 133 8.6 Your method or approach............................................................................................... 135 8.7 Definitions, notation and terminology ............................................................................. 141 8.8 Presenting data............................................................................................................... 145 8.9 Giving examples ............................................................................................................. 149 8.10 The relationship to other work ...................................................................................... 152 8.11 Referring to other work ................................................................................................. 159 8.12 Reviewing other work ................................................................................................... 162

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Contents „

8.13 What you agree with..................................................................................................... 164 8.14 What you disagree with ................................................................................................ 166 8.15 Arguing your case and putting forward ideas............................................................... 171 8.16 Arguing against............................................................................................................. 173 8.17 Analysis and discussion ............................................................................................... 176 8.18 Explanation ................................................................................................................... 180 8.19 Qualifying...................................................................................................................... 183 8.20 Quantifying.................................................................................................................... 187 8.21 Time.............................................................................................................................. 194 8.22 Hypotheses and probability .......................................................................................... 199 8.23 Rhetorical questions and addressing your audience ................................................... 202 8.24 Compare and contrast .................................................................................................. 204 8.25 Tying a text together..................................................................................................... 209 8.26 Presenting results......................................................................................................... 213 8.27 Interpreting findings ...................................................................................................... 216 8.28 Concluding a study, chapter or section ........................................................................ 220 8.29 Summary and abstract ................................................................................................. 224

9 Thesaurus ...................................................................................................................227 10 Glossary and Reference ..........................................................................................251 10.1 University and research terminology ............................................................................ 252 10.2 Greek, Latin and other elements .................................................................................. 265 10.3 SI prefixes..................................................................................................................... 289 10.4 SI and British-American units ....................................................................................... 290

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Writing Help

A number of ways of referring to yourself are given below, from the most to the least direct. Further examples can be found in the phrases section of the PhraseBook.

I I would like to thank my supervisor, X, who encouraged me to … I do not wish to imply that … So far, I have not commented on … My own view is that …

we In some subjects, using we to refer to a single author could be regarded as old-fashioned. However, some writers use we to include the reader in the discussion – this is particularly the case in textbooks. Using we in a paper with more than one author is neutral. As in many subjects co-authored papers are the norm, using we for a single author here could be misleading. We can say that … What we are mainly concerned with here is … This brings us to the question of … What does this tell us about …? Our view is that …

one One could argue that … This becomes clear when one examines … The limitations of … become evident if one considers … Reading X, one is reminded of …

the author(s) The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of … The view of the author is that … Note: when writing about other authors’ work, do not refer to yourself as the author(s), which could be confused with the author you are reviewing, as illustrated by the example above.

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Style „

Sometimes, you may wish to refer specifically to one of the authors of a co-written work. In such case, you can use the author’s initials: The interviews were conducted by one of the authors (SH).

Impersonal phrases It is clear that … It is interesting that … This study argues … This paper will show … One possible explanation is that … Note: when stating an opinion, do not use impersonal forms such as It is believed, It is considered or It is assumed, as it is important to make clear whose opinion you are giving. Instead, write for example: Many authors believe … Our view is that … Many researchers hold the view that … X assumes that …

Passive phrases This can be explained by … It has been shown in this chapter how … The paper has been substantially revised.

1.8 Referring to the reader A number of phrases for addressing the reader or including the reader in your discussion are given in the PhraseBook. These include:

Addressing the reader Consider, for example, … Now consider the issue of … Note that …

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Spelling

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2 Spelling

An easy way to be consistent in your writing is to use a single dictionary as your guide. This can be the spelling checker on your computer or a traditional dictionary in book form. Dictionaries vary, so use the same dictionary or spelling checker throughout your text. English spelling is notoriously inconsistent: George Bernhard Shaw made the point that fish could be written ghoti using the letters gh in cough, o in women and ti in nation. Today, writing on a computer means that many of the problems of English spelling are avoided, as a word processor automatically checks what you type and can also offer basic grammar advice. However, many specialized terms common in university and research writing may be marked as incorrect by your computer – for example the most common word processor suggests pesto for postdoc, Tactics for Tacitus, karaoke for keratose, Yeast for Yeats and baldheaded for aldehyde. Furthermore, spelling and grammar checkers often do not detect words written correctly but used in the wrong context – principle and principal or causal and casual for example. Misspellings and malapropisms such as Jane Austen’s heroin, currant research or the human gnome project might amuse your readers but would detract from your credibility. The PhraseBook therefore includes a number of Writing Help sections on commonly confused words in university and research writing.

2.1 British and US spellings The lists below give the most common spelling differences between British and US English. As stated above, most but not all of these will be picked up by your computer spell checker. However, it is important to be familiar with the basic spelling differences between the two varieties. As already mentioned, generally speaking British spellings are also used in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The US column gives spellings used in the United States. Canadian English uses features of both British and US English, depending on the type of text.

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Writing Help

2.1.1 -ou- and -oBritish English

US English

arbour some meanings

arbor

ardour

ardor

armour

armor

behaviour

behavior

candour

candor

clamour

clamor

colour

color

demeanour

demeanor

enamour

enamor

endeavour

endeavor

favour

favor

fervour

fervor

flavour

flavor

glamour

glamour or glamor

harbour

harbor

honour

honor

humour

humor

labour

labor

mould

mold

moult

molt

neighbour

neighbor

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Writing Help

3.13 Quotation marks Quotation marks, also called inverted commas in British English, are used to enclose quotations in your text: ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’, Isaac Newton.

3.13.1 ‘Single’ or “double”? Quotation marks can be ‘single’ or “double”. They are written in the pattern 6–9 for single and 66–99 for double quotation marks, and always above the line (not below the line as in some languages), for example: The Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for ‘One man, one vote’ in South Africa. The Civil Rights Movement campaigned for “One man, one vote” in the United States. You can use either single or double quotation marks, though you should be consistent throughout your text and follow any guidelines for your subject, journal or publisher. Generally, British English uses single quotation marks, while US English uses double quotation marks.

3.13.2 ‘“Quotations” within quotations’ For quotations within quotations, use double quotation marks if you normally use single quotation marks, and single quotation marks if you normally use double quotation marks. For example: The Anti-Apartheid campaigner stated, ‘We will not rest until we achieve “One man, one vote” in South Africa’. The Civil Rights campaigner stated, “We will not rest until we achieve ‘One man, one vote’ in the United States.”

3.13.3 Long quotations If you are citing a very long quotation, you should normally place it in its own indented paragraph, for example: Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, October 1835: ‘I will not here attempt to come to any definite conclusions, as the species have not been accurately examined; but we may infer, that … the organic beings found on this archipelago are peculiar to it … This similarity in type, between distant islands and

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Punctuation „

continents, while the species are distinct, has scarcely been sufficiently noticed. The circumstance would be explained according to the views of some authors, by saying that the creative power had acted according to the same law over a wide area.’

3.13.4 ‘Loose’ quotes In university and research writing, beware of using quotation marks to enclose loose definitions, slang or imprecise phrasing: The results were ‘OK’. American ‘Indians’ Columbus ‘discovered’ the ‘New’ World in 1492. She spoke with a ‘posh’ accent.

Computer help You can set Microsoft Word to change straight quotation marks to curved as you type by going to AutoCorrect Options or AutoCorrect – AutoFormat As You Type and ticking the box "Straight quotes" with “Smart quotes” (this option may depend on your program version).

3.14 Punctuation at the end of quotations 3.14.1 Comma and full stop (GB) or period (US) British and US English differ in the position of the comma and full stop or period at the end of quotations: ƒ

If you are writing in British English, place the full stop or comma inside the closing quotation mark if it is part of the quotation, and outside if it is not

ƒ

If you are writing in US English, always place the period or comma inside the closing quotation mark

Compare the following examples:

British English ‘Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.’ Winston Churchill

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Writing Help

3.16 Parenthesis and ellipsis 3.16.1 Adding emphasis to a quotation If you wish to add emphasis to a quotation, for example by italics, use the words emphasis added, my italics, or italics + your initials after the quotation: ‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind …’ A Universal Declaration of Human Rights (emphasis added) To show that the emphasis was in the original quotation and not added by you, use italics in original or emphasis in the original, for example: ‘It was all very well to say “Drink me”, but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry.’ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (emphasis in the original)

3.16.2 Adding a comment or clarification to a quotation Use square brackets when you wish to add a comment or clarification within a quotation. For example in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18: ‘Shall I compare thee [you] to a summer's day? Thou art [you are] more lovely and more temperate.’ By convention, square brackets show that the comment or clarification was added by you and not by the original author(s).

3.16.3 Omitting words from a quotation The ellipsis sign of three dots … is used to show where you have removed text from an original quotation. For example from the American Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal … with certain … rights … among these … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Be consistent in whether or not you add spaces before and after the ellipsis sign. Some writers use four dots where an omission spans two or more sentences.

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Writing Help

-o to -oes Not all words ending in -o add -e- in the plural, for example embryos, neutrinos, placebos. However, a number of those that do are listed below:

Singular

Plural

archipelago

archipelagos or archipelagoes

cargo

cargos or cargoes

echo

echoes

embargo

embargoes

fresco

frescos or frescoes

ghetto

ghettos or ghettoes

halo

haloes

hero

heroes

mango

mangos or mangoes

manifesto

manifestos or manifestoes

mosquito

mosquitoes or mosquitos

potato

potatoes

tomato

tomatoes

tornado

tornadoes

veto

vetoes

volcano

volcanoes

-on to -a Singular

Plural

criterion

criteria

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Grammar „

ganglion

ganglia or ganglions

mitochondrion

mitochondria

phenomenon

phenomena

spermatozoon

spermatozoa

taxon

taxa

-um to -a Singular

Plural

addendum

addenda

aquarium

aquariums or aquaria

auditorium

auditoriums or auditoria

bacterium

bacteria

consortium

consortia also consortiums

continuum

continua or continuums

curriculum

curricula or curriculums

datum

data

dictum

dicta or dictums

equilibrium

equilibriums or equilibria

erratum

errata

forum

forums or fora

maximum

maximums or maxima

medium

media

memorandum

memorandums or memoranda

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Numbers „

6.1.1 Words or figures? A common rule for writing numbers is to write one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten as words, but larger numbers as figures. The following numbers may also be written as words in normal text:

twenty

sixty

hundred

thirty

seventy

thousand

forty

eighty

million

fifty

ninety

billion

Approximate versus exact Compare also the examples below where words are used for approximate amounts and figures for exact values: There have been over fifty new cases this year. There have been 54 new cases this year. There are around five thousand new students every year. Last year there were 5023 new students.

Use figures with units or abbreviations

3%

10 kg

6 mm

100 km

25 °C

pH 7

Use figures with page, figure and table numbers

page 1

p. 100

Figure 6

Fig. 8

Table 3

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Writing Help

Use figures with dates

19 February 2008 October 11, 2009

6.1.2 Avoid beginning a sentence with a figure In university and research writing you should avoid beginning a sentence with a figure, for example: 1 in 10 pregnancies ... Better: One in ten pregnancies … 2.5 mg of distilled water were added after 30 minutes … Better: After 30 minutes, 2.5 mg of distilled water were added … 50% of students at some UK universities come from private schools … Better: Fifty percent of students at some UK universities come from private schools …

6.1.3 Avoid mixing words and figures Where possible, avoid mixing words and figures in the same sentence, particularly when comparing. For example: Compulsory education in Britain is from five to 16, though many children begin preschool at 3 or four. Better: Compulsory education in Britain is from 5 to 16, though many children begin preschool at 3 or 4.

Avoiding ambiguity However, where necessary numbers should be written as words or figures to avoid ambiguity, for example: three 5-point scales five 10-year-old children

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Preface and acknowledgements „

ƒ

who first introduced me to …

ƒ

for a thorough grounding in the principles of …

ƒ

We have benefited greatly from the comments and suggestions of …

ƒ

I would also like to thank the reviewers of the previous edition for their constructive comments

ƒ

… the anonymous reviewers at … for their useful comments

ƒ

… is or are reprinted by kind permission of …

ƒ

I also wish to thank a number of people who …

ƒ

We would also like to thank …

ƒ

In addition, we would like to thank …

ƒ

I am also grateful to …

ƒ

Thanks are also due to X and Y

ƒ

Further thanks to …

ƒ

Thanks too to …

ƒ

…, and above all special thanks to …

Support, funding and approval ƒ

We have benefited greatly from …

ƒ

We are indebted to …

ƒ

… for invaluable support

ƒ

I am deeply grateful for the assistance of …

ƒ

I would also like to acknowledge here my gratitude for …

ƒ

on behalf of all the co-authors

ƒ

I would like to thank … ƒ

… for their support of this research

ƒ

… for the funding of this research

ƒ

… for research grant 12345

ƒ

… for funding of field work in …

ƒ

Financial support for this study was provided by …

ƒ

Partial support was provided by …

ƒ

This study was supported by the or a or an … Award for …

ƒ

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of …

ƒ

Grateful acknowledgement is made to … for grant number 12345

ƒ

…, which enabled me to … ƒ

carry out essential fieldwork

ƒ

conduct interviews in …

ƒ

purchase vital equipment for …

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Preface and acknowledgements „

Writing practice 1. Write a preface to your text using phrases from the section above 2. Write an acknowledgement thanking people who have helped you in your work 3. Using the words in italics in the section above, write five new phrases for your text 4. In class, in groups or in pairs, exchange texts and evaluate each other’s writing, going through the points above

8.2 About the author or authors Education and position ƒ

X is Chair or Director of …

ƒ

X is Professor of … at the University of X

ƒ

X is the … Professor of … at …

ƒ

X is a lecturer GB in … at the University of X

ƒ

X is assistant professor US of … at the University of X

ƒ

X is a senior lecturer GB in … at the University of X

ƒ

X is associate professor US of … at the University of X

ƒ

Since 2002 etc., she or he has taught … at …

ƒ

X has taught at …

ƒ

She has taught at various universities, including …

ƒ

X is a researcher in … at the … Institute

ƒ

X was a visiting professor, scholar etc. at …

ƒ

In 2007, X was a guest lecturer or a researcher at …

ƒ

X studied … at … with Professor A. Smith

ƒ

She received her PhD from the University of X in 2007 etc.

ƒ

He received his doctorate in … at …

ƒ

After graduating in … at …, X or he or she …

ƒ

She is currently …

ƒ

He was, until recently, Professor of …

ƒ

She was formerly …

ƒ

He was head of … between … and …

ƒ

She was head of … from … to …

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Introducing and study, chapter or section „

ƒ

it seems appropriate to …

ƒ

… give a brief overview of the problem

ƒ

… provide a brief outline of …

ƒ

… outline the investigation

ƒ

It will highlight …

ƒ

The following section sets out …

ƒ

This section will examine …

ƒ

… is or are introduced in this section or chapter

ƒ

The analysis in chapter X …

ƒ

In X.X it is argued that …

ƒ

In X.X the importance of … as a factor … is discussed

ƒ

This is followed by …

Related work ƒ

The paper presented here is based in part on an earlier study

ƒ

An earlier version of this paper was presented at …

ƒ

… was published in the Journal of …

ƒ

This paper …

ƒ

… is a revised version of …

ƒ

… has been substantially revised

ƒ

… includes new chapters on …

ƒ

There are new sections on …

ƒ

This paper etc. forms part of a larger study of …

ƒ

This paper etc. has been submitted for publication in …

ƒ

Parts of this study have been or were presented at the conference on …

ƒ

Parts of this paper were presented in a lecture on … to … in April 2007 etc.

Writing practice 1. Using phrases from the section above, write an introduction to your text 2. Using the words in italics in the section above, write five new phrases for your text 3. In class, in groups or in pairs, exchange texts and evaluate each other’s writing, going through the points above

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The aim of your study and outlining the topic „

ƒ

… is widely perceived as …

ƒ

the question has been raised whether …

ƒ

Present understanding of … is limited.

ƒ

the field of … is still relatively undeveloped

ƒ

there is as yet or at present no consensus on …

ƒ

As yet, no one explanation has gained acceptance.

ƒ

there is at present little agreement on the causes of etc. …

ƒ

there is at present no general agreement on the causes of etc. …

ƒ

there is still considerable disagreement on the causes of etc. …

ƒ

the mechanism by which … is unknown or not well understood

ƒ

the controversial question of …

ƒ

much of our knowledge of … comes from …

ƒ

the task of … is complicated further by …

ƒ

The impact of … on … is not easy to determine

ƒ

The effect of … on … has not been examined in detail.

ƒ

its effects on … have not previously been studied in detail

Importance of the study ƒ

The study is important for a number of reasons:

ƒ

The study is of relevance because …

ƒ

It is important to …

ƒ

the importance of …

ƒ

an important aspect of …

ƒ

… is an important or urgent subject for study

ƒ

… is needed

ƒ

… is necessary

ƒ

… warrants further investigation

ƒ

… warrants closer scrutiny or examination

ƒ

The problem merits further investigation.

ƒ

… is worth examining for its own sake

ƒ

… to shed light on a number of issues or problem areas in current theory

ƒ

Resolution of this problem would …

ƒ

the prospect of a breakthrough in …

ƒ

Other authors have also called for …

ƒ

This study, thesis, paper etc.

ƒ

… may show or reveal …

ƒ

… may stimulate the debate on …

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Your method or approach „

ƒ

To investigate whether …, we analysed GB or analyzed US …

ƒ

… was or were measured by …

ƒ

… was determined for each … by …

ƒ

… was measured before and after …

ƒ

… was used to measure …

ƒ

… was equipped with …

ƒ

… was transferred to …

ƒ

… was or is used in the analysis of … to determine …

ƒ

… provides a useful estimate of or for …

ƒ

the simulation showed that …

ƒ

in the presence of …

ƒ

in the absence of …

ƒ

after addition of …

ƒ

substitution of … for …

ƒ

if the constraints are relaxed

ƒ

measurements were made or taken at … sites

ƒ

background measurements, samples etc. were taken …

ƒ

… under these conditions …

ƒ

… following the method outlined in …

ƒ

… according to standard criteria

ƒ

… following standard procedure

ƒ

… in accordance with standard procedures

ƒ

… was performed according to a or the standard … protocol

ƒ

… following the manufacturer’s guidelines or instructions

ƒ

… according to the manufacturer’s guidelines or instructions

ƒ

… as specified in the manufacturer’s guidelines or instructions

ƒ

For this we can use a number of strategies

ƒ

One option here would be to …

ƒ

Adjustment of … allows us to …

ƒ

… is enhanced if we …

ƒ

This method can be used to obtain …

ƒ

This technology enables us to …

ƒ

The most usual method is …

ƒ

… is commonly used in … to measure etc. …

ƒ

… by the … method

ƒ

… according to the … method

ƒ

… as previously described by X

ƒ

… using the … procedures described by X et al.

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Your method or approach „

ƒ

Previous measurements based on … have shown that …

ƒ

The traditional approach has been to …

ƒ

This innovation allows us to …

ƒ

The most straightforward way of … is …

ƒ

This route would enable us to …

ƒ

This is the course or method adopted here.

ƒ

The advantage of this approach is that …

ƒ

This approach has the advantage of or that …

ƒ

This approach has a number of advantages: firstly, …

ƒ

… gives a better basis for …

ƒ

it combines … with or and …

ƒ

This format allows us to see more clearly how …

ƒ

In this way, we are or were able to target …

ƒ

This enables one to create …

ƒ

… allows or enables the transfer of … from … to …

ƒ

such a rigid approach does not allow …

ƒ

this approach gives greater flexibility

ƒ

this construction allows us to …

ƒ

This rather strict regime ensures that …

ƒ

By monitoring …, we are or were able to …

ƒ

This allows … to be examined within the same framework.

ƒ

In this way, we are able to eliminate several of the problems of previous approaches or methods

ƒ

One difficulty in … is …

ƒ

A or one significant problem is …

ƒ

Coordination of … and … is essential or particularly difficult

ƒ

a compromise

ƒ

One strategy would be to …

ƒ

… avoids this difficulty by …

ƒ

the practical problems involved in …

ƒ

an alternative way of approaching the problem

ƒ

Another way of looking at the question of …

ƒ

If, however, we reformulate the question, we …

ƒ

It is impossible to discuss, examine etc. … without discussing …

ƒ

It is impossible to discuss, examine etc. … without reference to …

ƒ

… methodological issues …

ƒ

The original or earlier method was abandoned because of problems with …

ƒ

Conventional methods, techniques etc. are unable to …

139


The relationship to other work „

ƒ

… has or have been discussed, examined etc. extensively in the literature

ƒ

several or various explanations etc. have been suggested in the literature

ƒ

a great many explanations etc. have been put forward for …

ƒ

The topic is not a new one; however, …

ƒ

There is now a substantial body of research or literature or work on …

ƒ

the wealth of literature on …

ƒ

Noteworthy studies of … are …

ƒ

X’s most influential work

ƒ

X and Y, in their influential study of …, …

ƒ

… has been carried out in detail by X

ƒ

The most detailed examination or study of … to date is …

ƒ

Initial observations suggest or indicate that …

ƒ

Previous studies of or on … have shown or suggested that …

ƒ

Results from earlier studies have indicated or suggested that …

ƒ

Research conducted in the 1990s etc. indicated that …

ƒ

this has led some authors to suggest that …

ƒ

It has been shown or demonstrated repeatedly that …

ƒ

This view can be found in …

ƒ

a number of other studies …

ƒ

In a preliminary or an exploratory study, X found that …

ƒ

… has been linked to …

ƒ

…, which is also known to cause etc. …

ƒ

… has been found to have an adverse effect on …

ƒ

… has been shown to play an important or a pivotal role in …

ƒ

X first remarked on the similarity, relationship or connection between …

ƒ

Originally suggested by X in 1980 etc., … was subsequently developed further by Y

ƒ

X’s discovery of …

ƒ

… paved the way for …

ƒ

… was taken up by others …

ƒ

… provided the impetus for further research on etc. …

ƒ

… was the trigger for an explosion of research on …

ƒ

… contributed to the development of …

ƒ

… marked a major turning point in …

ƒ

X showed that …

ƒ

X and Y’s study was the first to show etc. that or how …

ƒ

… was the first major work in or on …

ƒ

Before X, it was widely believed that …

153


„

Phrases

ƒ

a long-standing question

ƒ

the long-standing issue of …

ƒ

… are known to exist

ƒ

a new line of inquiry

Contrasting work ƒ

Another view is that …

ƒ

…, whereas X believes that …

ƒ

a competing theory

ƒ

This contrasts with … who found that …

ƒ

In contrast, a study of … found or reported or showed …

ƒ

this interpretation has recently been challenged, however

ƒ

X’s theory, explanation etc. has been challenged on various or several grounds:

ƒ

Although research suggests that …, previous studies have …

ƒ

Although early work or results suggested that …, subsequent studies have shown …

ƒ

Current theory, as it stands, does not adequately account for …

ƒ

A number of aspects of the problem require further investigation.

ƒ

Although a number of studies exist on …,

ƒ

… still a great deal of disagreement

ƒ

… has been hotly debated in the literature

ƒ

a bone of contention

ƒ

a source or hotbed of controversy

ƒ

Controversy remains regarding …

ƒ

Although controversial, …

ƒ

critics of … theory would argue that …

ƒ

X and X’s response is that …

ƒ

X’s views have failed to gain widespread acceptance

ƒ

X has been criticized US and GB or criticised GB for failing to take account of etc. …

ƒ

We rejected X’s hypothesis on the basis of or that …

ƒ

This is reflected in X’s findings that …

ƒ

Previous studies have ignored …

ƒ

The question has been raised whether …

ƒ

There are increasing doubts about …

ƒ

Many scholars doubt, however, whether or that …

ƒ

Other authors have also called for …

ƒ

Many authors have stressed the importance of …

ƒ

Few authors would dispute that …

156


The relationship to other work „

ƒ

A number of other studies have argued or suggested that …

ƒ

The traditional approach has been to …

ƒ

An alternative …, suggested by X, is …

ƒ

However, recent research by X … suggests that …

ƒ

X and Y have also pointed out or to …

ƒ

Researchers have traditionally been reluctant to …

ƒ

Researchers adopting this position include for example …

ƒ

… is beginning to gain acceptance as …

ƒ

a foot in both camps

ƒ

Rather than engaging in the debate on …, I would like to …

ƒ

Rather than adding yet another explanation for …, we would like instead to focus on …

ƒ

Rather than going over old ground, …

ƒ

In contrast to earlier studies, …

ƒ

In contrast to previous research on …, this study …

ƒ

Unlike some or many or most earlier studies, this study …

ƒ

This study contends that …

ƒ

This study questions the widely held view that or of …

ƒ

This study differs from previous research in a number of respects:

ƒ

At the risk of offending some readers, …

The limitations of current knowledge ƒ

At present, little is known about …

ƒ

Very little is known about …

ƒ

There is as yet no clear evidence of or for …

ƒ

Little attention has been paid to …

ƒ

There has been as yet no systematic examination of …

ƒ

Research in this area has been limited to …

ƒ

… research has concentrated on …

ƒ

Very little has been written on or about …

ƒ

… is or are frequently overlooked in discussions of …

ƒ

… has rarely been done before

ƒ

… is not yet clearly or completely understood

ƒ

Our understanding to date has been limited to …

ƒ

… has received very little attention in the literature

ƒ

there is as yet or at present no consensus on …

ƒ

there is at present no general agreement on the causes of etc. …

ƒ

no satisfactory account or explanation of … has been given or provided

157


„

Phrases

ƒ

the misleading statement that …

ƒ

It is somewhat of an overstatement or exaggeration to claim that …

ƒ

… contains a number of inaccuracies

ƒ

a number of controversial viewpoints

ƒ

In fact, the problem is more complex

ƒ

The author fails to take … into account

ƒ

X and Y take little or no account of …

ƒ

The authors have, however, failed to take account of …

ƒ

There is little or no systematic examination of …

ƒ

The study fails to answer the question of or whether …

ƒ

A problem with this argument is that …

ƒ

the same problem also applies to …

ƒ

There is little or no evidence to suggest that …

Their results or conclusions ƒ

X’s explanation depends on or relies on …

ƒ

The evidence for … is inconclusive

ƒ

The reasoning here is problematic

ƒ

the conclusions are somewhat weak

ƒ

X’s arguments … are unconvincing

ƒ

this, however, holds only for …

ƒ

the claim or argument that … simply does not hold water

ƒ

… is not sufficient argument for the existence of etc. …

ƒ

this assumption is rather arbitrary, however

ƒ

X’s main assumption that … is debatable or problematic

ƒ

We would dispute X’s conclusion that …

ƒ

X’s explanation for or of … is rather or highly speculative

ƒ

this contradiction has also been pointed out by X

ƒ

an error in the calculation

ƒ

X’s figures, results, conclusions etc. should, however, be treated with caution

ƒ

The results should be treated with a degree of or some or considerable caution

ƒ

X’s conclusions would carry more weight if …

ƒ

further clarification of … is required

ƒ

X and Y fail to explain …

ƒ

the causal relationship between … and … needs to be clarified

ƒ

a number of valid criticisms

ƒ

… violates the principle of …

168


Interpreting findings

ƒ

It is not clear why …

ƒ

It is not immediately obvious how or why …

ƒ

… may have been indirectly influenced by …

ƒ

although the mechanism is not completely understood

ƒ

The results are unclear or inconclusive or contradictory

ƒ

… can be interpreted in a number of ways

ƒ

The impact of … on … is not easy to determine

ƒ

The data cannot adequately explain …

ƒ

… complicates the assessment of the data

ƒ

Interpretation of the data is complicated by …

ƒ

The results are to some extent misleading

ƒ

The results must be interpreted with a degree of or the utmost caution

ƒ

The findings are not consistent with …

ƒ

The disparity between the results may be due to …

ƒ

These disparities may reflect …

ƒ

The discrepancy between … may be explained by …

ƒ

These apparent differences may be explained by …

ƒ

While it may seem unlikely that …, it is important to remember that …

ƒ

The reasons for … remain unclear.

„

Writing practice 1. Using phrases from the section above, discuss your findings a. Discuss findings that confirm or agree with your hypothesis or argument b. Discuss contradictory, unexpected or inconclusive findings 2. Using the words in italics in the section above, write five new phrases for your text 3. In class, in groups or in pairs, exchange texts and evaluate each other’s writing, going through the points above

219


„

Thesaurus

ƒ

debate

ƒ

to heighten

ƒ

argue

ƒ

to underline

ƒ

to focus on

ƒ

to centre GB or center US on

ƒ

to prioritize US and GB or

disprove ƒ

challenge

ƒ

contradict

ƒ

to raise awareness of

ƒ

refute

ƒ

to play down or downplay

ƒ

invalidate

ƒ

to gloss over

ƒ

prove

ƒ

prioritise GB

to minimize US and GB or minimise GB

effective

ƒ

bias

ƒ

to fail to disclose

ƒ

to conceal

ƒ

efficient

ƒ

productive

ƒ

powerful

ƒ

potent

ƒ

ineffective

ƒ

proof

ƒ

inefficient

ƒ

grounds for

ƒ

inadequate

ƒ

a sign of

ƒ

insufficient

ƒ

an indication of

ƒ

unproductive

ƒ

to attest to

ƒ

weak

ƒ

to substantiate

ƒ

to corroborate

ƒ

to bear witness to

emphasis

evidence

ƒ

data

ƒ

stress

ƒ

support

ƒ

accent

ƒ

prove

ƒ

focus

ƒ

disprove

ƒ

weight

ƒ

a lack of evidence

ƒ

priority

ƒ

refute

ƒ

prominence

ƒ

emphatic

ƒ

prominent

ƒ

important

ƒ

for example

ƒ

to emphasize US and GB or

ƒ

e.g.

example

emphasise GB

ƒ

for instance

ƒ

to highlight

ƒ

such as

ƒ

to accentuate

ƒ

as in the case of

234


Thesaurus „

ƒ

a case in point

ƒ

true

ƒ

as illustration

ƒ

right

ƒ

To illustrate:

ƒ

correct

ƒ

a counterexample

find out explain and explanation

ƒ

discover

ƒ

an explanation for

ƒ

determine

ƒ

to account for

ƒ

establish

ƒ

to solve

ƒ

learn

ƒ

to clarify

ƒ

realize US and GB or realise GB

ƒ

answer

ƒ

identify

ƒ

the reason for

ƒ

detect

ƒ

a solution to or of

ƒ

locate

ƒ

clarification of

ƒ

to pinpoint

ƒ

explanatory

ƒ

work out

ƒ

understand

ƒ

verify

ƒ

to fail to explain

ƒ

a finding

ƒ

to fail to account for

framework false

ƒ

theory

ƒ

untrue

ƒ

basis

ƒ

wrong

ƒ

empirical basis

ƒ

incorrect

ƒ

theoretical framework

ƒ

a mistake

ƒ

frame of reference

ƒ

an error

ƒ

convention

ƒ

mistaken

ƒ

principles

ƒ

in error

ƒ

rules

ƒ

an erroneous assumption, belief

ƒ

guidelines

etc.

ƒ

system

ƒ

faulty

ƒ

paradigm

ƒ

invalid

ƒ

model

ƒ

inaccurate

ƒ

plan

ƒ

unsound

ƒ

program US or programme GB

ƒ

unreliable

ƒ

organization US and GB or

ƒ

misleading

ƒ

artificial

ƒ

structure

ƒ

fictional

ƒ

scheme

organisation GB

235


„

Glossary

ad lib

To speak or perform without preparation Freely, for instance when study animals are given unlimited ac-

ad libitum alma mater

cess to food, e.g. The animals were fed ad libitum Your old school, college or university A Latin word meaning former students of a university or college. A

alumni

male former student is an alumnus, a female former student an alumna.

a.m.

Before 12 noon, e.g. 2 a.m.

anno

In the year

anon.

Anonymous, e.g. Beowulf (anon.)

appendix

Additional material included at the end of a text Assumed valid

a priori

Until Copernicus, most Western astronomers believed a priori that the sun revolved around the earth.

ASAP assistant professor US, CA associate professor US, CA

As soon as possible

GB approximately lecturer

GB approximately senior lecturer

AU

In the PhraseBook, an Australian spelling or term

BA

Bachelor of Arts

bachelor

The first university degree, taken after three or four years of study

BC

Before year 0 in the Western calendar

bibliography

A list of works referred to or used in a text

bona fide

Genuine, e.g. a bona fide case of ‌

254


„

Glossary

hall

A university hall of residence, student accommodation

honours GB, AU

An honours degree, higher than an ordinary bachelor’s degree

Hons GB

An honours degree, e.g. BA (Hons) At the same place, used in references to refer to a reference al-

ibid.

ready cited, e.g. Lee ibid.

i.e.

That is

IE

In the PhraseBook, an Irish spelling or term

in lieu of

In place of

in memoriam

In memory of someone who has died

in situ

In position or at its original site Among other things

inter alia

Stonehenge probably symbolizes, inter alia, a worship of nature. Within a university or college, for example intramural sports are

intramural

between teams at the same university or college

in vitro

Outside the body, in vitro literally means ‘in glass’

in vivo

Inside the body, in living organisms By that very fact or act

ipso facto

A native speaker is ipso facto an expert linguist.

ISBN

International Standard Book Number

ISSN

International Standard Serial Number An academic world seen as isolated and with little relevance to the

ivory tower

outside world A number of older eastern US universities, including Harvard, Yale

Ivy League l.

258

and Princeton Line


Greek, Latin and other elements „

lign

wood lignite, lignify, lignin, lignocellulose

lip(o)

fat lipoprotein, lipid, liposuction

lith

stone lithic, Neolithic, monolith, megalith, lithography

log, loqu

word or speech prologue, monologue, soliloquy, colloquial

luna

moon lunar

lys, lysis

loosen or break down analysis, electrolysis, catalysis

macro

large macroeconomics, macromolecule, macrocyte

mal

bad or wrong malfunction, malignant, malnutrition

man(u)

hand manual, manipulate, manuscript

matri

mother maternal, maternity, matriarch, matrilineal

mega, megal

huge megalith, megaloblast, megalomania

melan

black

277


„

Glossary

melanin, melanoma, melancholy meso

middle mesocarp, mesoderm, Meso-America, Mesopotamia

meta

concepts or change metatheory, metamorphosis, metabolism

micro

small microbe, microscope, microfilm, microclimate

miso

hatred misogynist

mito

thread mitochondria, mitogenic, mitosis

morph

shape morphology, metamorphosis, anthropomorphism

multi

much or many multiply, multicultural, multidisciplinary, multilateral

myc, mycet

fungus mycosis, mycoprotein, mycology

myel

bone marrow or spinal cord myelitis, myeloid, myelin sheath

myo

muscle myocardium, cardiomyopathy, myoglobin

narco

numb narcotic, narcosis

278


The PhraseBook for Writing Papers and Research contains over 5000 words and phrases to help you write at university and research level in English From Introducing your Work, Arguing for and against, Method, Analysis, Reviewing other Work, Presenting Results to Summary and Conclusions Grouped by topic to find words and phrases easily Written by PhD authors, the PhraseBook is specially designed for non-native speakers Writing Help sections give advice on university and research writing in English, helping you avoid many common errors. Main sections include Style, Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Vocabulary The PhraseBook is used in over 30 countries in subjects ranging from Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology to Law, Business and Economics, Political Science, Geography, History, Sociology, Psychology, Language and Education Suitable for university and research writing from student to researcher and faculty level • Over 5000 words and phrases • Includes most frequent words in academic English • Writing help on style, spelling, punctuation and grammar • University and research thesaurus to improve vocabulary • Glossary of university and research terms • Exercises for individual and classroom use • British and American English ‘This material, prepared by experienced editors, is certainly very useful’ Photosynthetica

ISBN-DL:978-1-903384-01-5 ISBN-CD:978-1-903384-00-8

For university and research books in English, visit

EnglishforResearch.com • EnglishforStudents.com

9 781903 384022

PhraseBook for Writing Papers and Research in English  

The PhraseBook for Writing Papers and Research contains over 5000 words and phrases to help you write at university and research level in En...

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